Slogging it Out

I was just having a little tidy-up around the site, getting back into the groove of things slowly, updating my current reads, editing some saved drafts, etc. I’m just back from a week on the road, attending a (really fabulous) family wedding in NoCal wine country, then driving home along the coast, camping at night and falling into a variety of tourist traps during the day. It were blissy, my pets, let me tell you.

I took two books with me on the road, but read nary a word the entire time–can you believe it? I did manage to absorb two Terry Pratchett books, thanks to the miracle of Books in MP3 format–I love listening to audiobooks on long drives. So it wasn’t an entirely bookless week. And my non-reading isn’t entirely the fault of a busy vacation schedule; reviewing my current reads list, I realized I’m reading a pile of stuff that I don’t care about, so it’s easy to lay it aside and do something else.

I finished the Farmer, a book I’ve been meaning to read for ages, just because of the title. “To Your Scattered Bodies Go” is a line from one of John Donne’s Holy Sonnets; my high school choir performed an odd, but moving, version of it set to music several times, including at my year’s commencent ceremony. It was a song the whole choir loved and felt passionate about and fought to get to sing it at our graduation. Not because there was any upset over the Godtalk in it, you understand–though it was a public school, we were allowed to sing quite a lot of religious music, on artistic grounds. No, the controversy was because we had sung it at commencement the year before, and the choir director never, ever repeated the main setpiece number at the ceremony. Until my senior year. We begged, pleaded, cried, and insisted. Mr. Clark wasn’t much of one for changing his mind about things, but he must have decided that having a batch of teenagers caring that much about music outweighed any appearance of having gone stale. We sang triumphantly, through our tears. It was a great moment.

Which is a long digression, leading me back to saying, I read it, it was fine, but I don’t feel inspired to continue the Riverworld series. Although it’s still got an edge over Robinson’s Mars trilogy–I’m not sure I’m even going to finish the first book. I haven’t engaged with it at all, and I’m finding it really easy to not pick up again.

Ditto the Diane Johnson. It’s okay, quite funny at points, but I really don’t care what becomes of any of the characters. Will our young lovers make it to the altar, despite their attractions to other people? Will the unjustly-accused actress go to jail for crimes she didn’t commit, to pay for social sins her town won’t forgive? Will the lost manuscript be found before a doomsday cult can use it for their own nefarious purp–oh, come on! C’est absurde! Yes, a delightful little comedy of Amero-French relations, intersected by the freaking Da Vinci Code. Sheesh. But I’ve gotten engaged in a discussion with a co-worker, who has read the preceding novel (Le Divorce), and now feel like I can’t just dump it. I have to finish it, so I can…I don’t know…discuss it more fully? Urgh.

Meanwhile, glinting at me from the To Read stack: a new MaryJanice Davidson and Sophie Kinsella’s latest. These two authors are probably my very guiltiest pleasures–neither one ever has any trouble keeping their books in my hands. Once I pick one up, that’s all I’ll do until it’s finished. But first, the slog. *sigh*

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